January 25, 2024

Center for Global Affairs Alumni Spotlight: Diego Robledo

M.S. in Global Affairs ‘23

Concentration in Environment & Energy Policy

Currently, Diego works as the Vice President of the ESG Program at Santander Corporate & Investment Banking.

What makes you proud to be an alum?
I am proud to be a CGA alum because I am part of a supportive and inspiring community of people working in diverse ways to tackle some of the most complex global issues.

What are your main areas of responsibility in your current role?
In my role at Santander’s U.S. Investment Banking division, I lead our ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) and sustainable finance program initiatives. I am primarily focused on implementing green financial products and reporting platforms, with the objective of mobilizing EUR €120 billion in green finance by 2025. This ambitious effort is key to closing the climate finance gap and underscores Santander's commitment to climate neutrality, assisting our clients in their energy transitions. Additionally, I oversee the implementation of the Sustainable Finance Classification System (SFCS) within our New York Corporate and Investment Banking unit. This system is vital in categorizing financial products under sustainable and ethical standards, aligning with international guidelines like ICMA’s principles and the EU Taxonomy. My responsibilities include adapting these standards to U.S. policies and coordinating with legal, compliance, ESG Solutions/Business Development, and technical teams. The SFCS plays a crucial role in preventing greenwashing, ensuring that our environmental financing efforts are authentic and impactful.

How did your time at the CGA help prepare you for this role?
My time at the Center for Global Affairs was transformative, marking a pivotal 'hinge moment' in my personal and professional journey. There, I seamlessly integrated my deep-rooted passion for geopolitics and sustainability with my expertise in international banking. Specializing in Environment and Energy Policy, I gained crucial insights into the energy sector's technicalities, laying the groundwork for my role in climate finance and investing. This period was instrumental in shaping my path as a leader in sustainable finance, preparing me to make significant contributions in this evolving field.

Any favorite memories at the CGA?
A standout memory at the CGA was teaming up with Ramboll and NYU colleagues, led by Dr. Carolyn Kissane, to present our insights on EU Green Taxonomy Compliance for American Investment Firms during New York's Circular Week.

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